Tiling interior and exterior

Tiling outdoors allows you to extend your indoor living spaces and, whether it's a patio, stoep, boma, edladleni or braai area, one thing is certain: the contemporary outdoor relaxation area is a functional extension of the home and is as important as any other living area when it comes to planning the right decor to suit the space.


Whether it's just you and your family or regularly entertaining friends, you want to make sure that you have a place for family and friends to gather and a comfortable seating area for that perfect outdoor retreat. No matter what the preferences, an exterior entertainment area deserves as much attention as any other room, so that it not only adds value but a unique finish to a home.

We asked Liza Watermeyer of Tile Africa to give us some tips on tiling indoor and outdoor areas for a seamless flow. “When decorating outdoors it's important to apply the same design and decor principles as we would inside our homes. This achieves balance from one room to the next, especially rooms connecting the interior with the exterior,” says Liza.

We know that flooring plays a significant role in achieving unhindered flow from one space to the next; therefore some thought must go into selecting flooring that can work in transitional rooms that connect with outdoor areas, such as the lounge, sunroom, kitchen and entrance hall.

"Take into consideration the hue and texture of the flooring that can work in transitional rooms, as the correct flooring will assist in merging the spaces," Liza says.

Liza also advises that it is important to choose flooring that is easy to clean and maintain. "Tiles are a smart option for indoor/outdoor rooms as they’re durable and will not fade or discolour when exposed to sunlight or other natural elements. Durability and maintenance are important considerations as the floor will need to withstand dirt tracking in from the outside and cleaning tiles only requires a mop and water to clean. With the correct care they will continue to look beautiful through years of use," says Liza.

"Today's modern tiles offers a wide variety of textures and finishes. Ceramic and porcelain tiles can now be inlaid with beautiful inkjet prints that imitate natural stone and are available for a selection of locally manufactured or imported tiles. The prints also combine different types of natural stone such as marble, slate and travertine, thus featuring a variety of veining patterns. And , while medium and lighter shades are currently trending, you can also opt to have the same tile in both areas and use a darker shade and textured finish outside that will be more forgiving with dirt and a lighter hue inside," Liza says.

For those homeowners not looking for a new floor, there are other ways to strike a balance between indoor/outdoor flow. Liza offers two more tips on how to create a unified look and merge your indoor and outdoor spaces stylishly:

  • Consider colour matching: This is another way to create a seamless transition from one room to the next simply by duplicating the interior colour scheme and introducing it to a patio, pool or garden with matching decor accessories. For example, if the colour scheme in the lounge has hints of blue, repeat that same palette with blue scatter cushions, loose rugs or lanterns. Similarly, if the family room features a rustic palette, pull a hint of that hue and texture through to the patio with seating and accessories in wicker, wood and cast iron. By coordinating colours you can subtly connect indoor/outdoor rooms, ensuring better flow and unify design.
  • Ensure even floor levels: Make sure that transitional rooms are the same height as this will help lead the eye from one space to the other and make the room feel bigger.

For more information on visit www.tileafrica.co.za.